#Asia Viu to offer Singaporeans head start on Korean dramas and variety shows


Viu, an app launched in Singapore today, will provide English and Chinese subtitles eight hours after a show’s initial telecast in Korea

Korean actress Song Ji Hyo at a Samsung event in Vietnam in August 2014. Singaporeans will be able to catch Running Man, a variety show in which she stars, on Viu. (Image Credit: Son Hoang Tran/Shutterstock.com)

Singaporeans can now access around 4,000 hours of the latest Korean drama and variety shows from the top four Korean broadcasters through Viu, an over-the-top (OTT) multi-screen video service in the form of an app.

Hong Kong-based company PCCW Media Group launched Viu in the Republic today. The launch is the company’s first step in regional expansion after debuting Viu in Hong Kong, where the app recorded more than 500,000 downloads in three months between October 2015 and the end of the year.

Viu will partner Singtel to launch its premium service, the details of which are yet to be announced, in Singapore.

“Korean dramas and variety shows have a huge appeal in Singapore. We look forward to launching Viu’s premium service with PCCW Media to deliver the latest and best in Korean entertainment to our customers,” said Kuan Moon Yuen, Singtel’s CEO of Consumer Singapore.

Viu now offers freemium and premium content with multi-screen access to Singapore fans. To provide the Korean video content on its platform, Viu inked a pan-regional deal with Korean broadcasters SBS, KBS, MBC, and CJ E&M, to deliver crowd favourites such as Running Man and The Return of Superman. The deal will see Singaporeans enjoy an exclusive head start window.

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English and Chinese subtitles will be provided for selected titles as quickly as eight hours after the show’s initial telecast in Korea. Viu will offer user-friendly functions such as download-to-stream capability and personalised multi-device synchronisation.

Video content from Korea, however, will not be the only type available to users as Viu is looking to add Japanese and Chinese titles to suit different markets. Viu will be progressively rolled out in Malaysia, Indonesia and India.

Viu’s expansion into Singapore follows US-based on-demand streaming video content provider Netflix’s own recently to 130 countries worldwide, including Singapore. The moves by these companies will increase consumers’ options for video entertainment.

“The Millenial generation is a mass group of our audience and we are pleased to partner with Viu to reach out to them in a way tailored to their lifestyle of accessing entertainment on their mobile devices,” said DJ Lee, President of Media Content Business, CJ E&M.

The app is available for download via the App Store for iOS devices and the Google Play Store for Android devices in Singapore and Hong Kong.

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